The first team that got to punch their ticket to the tournament out of the four opening round games was 16 seed Albany. Albany got their victory over Mount St. Mary’s late Tuesday night. The final score of the tight game was Albany 71, Mount St. Mary’s 64. As the final minutes ticked away MSM was in reach, but a late missed three pointer sealed the deal, and Albany punched their first ticket to round of 64. Albany will now play the number one seed Florida later today in the second round.
The second of the four opening round games was the highly anticipated North Carolina State vs. Xavier game. When this game was revealed on Selection Sunday, many were angered and thought that this was unfair. Many believe that both teams easily deserved a spot safely in the tournament. Instead, both teams played one physical close game that led to a 74-59 NC State victory. NC State will play the number five seed St. Louis.
The third game was the Cal Poly-Texas Southern played last night. Against many people’s judgment, Cal Poly got the victory. The reason for so many people doubting that Cal Poly would win is because of their below .500 record. Proving many people wrong, Cal Poly won a smooth 81-69 victory over Texas Southern. Cal Poly will now play the number one seed Wichita State in the second round on Friday.
The final of the four opening round games was for the eleventh seed playing against the sixth seed Massachusetts. This was also another game where many people thought that both Iowa and Tennessee should be in the tournament without playing in the opening round games. This game was was extremely close through both halves. It came down to a game-tying shot made by Iowa to send it into overtime. Tennessee dominated the overtime period and won 78 to 65.